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|User Info||Fraudlent Education Friday; entered at 2008-06-07 21:42:54|
Registered: 2008-02-10 Odessa, Missouri
I agree wholeheartedly that the public school systems, probably throughout the country, are abyssmal. But what I'm seeing is not exactly or entirely what I would call "socialism." |
For one thing, I don't recall that I was ever asked to donate school supplies to be "pooled" for use by the whole class--with the exception of Kleenex. Every year (but only at the elementary school level), seems like, I was asked to provide two boxes of Kleenex per kid.
I also haven't seen the "awards for all" thing until rather recently. Even then, it wasn't exactly "awards for all," so much as there were so darn many awards for so darn much (mostly silly) stuff that everyone got some kind of award.
The extravagant "gifting" of awards is actually pure self-promotion on the part of the school district. Historically, the self-promotion has been in the interests of increasing property values, promoting real-estate development, and making sure that local banks can make a lot of lucrative mortgage loans on shiny new developments. It also helps assure that the real-estate developers will be able to repay the banks. I mean, consider who sits on the Board of Education. It's the folks who hope and intend to use the school system to promote their private investments in the community. Local business people also want to see well-heeled types purchase McMansions and start spending their money locally.
The closest I've seen to the "feel good" approach to education was when my kids were enrolled in public schools in a very snooty suburb. In situations like this, praise is lavish and criticism is very circumspect. In this case, I think the main reason is because teachers (who do not exactly occupy a position that is high on the income/status ladder) will be very cautious about criticizing children of very powerful, influential, and high-status parents. A teacher who can't master this game will wind up in the unemployment line--and they will tell you as much, though circumspectly.
The really awful decline in educational standards arises, I think, from several sources. One of them is that it's gotten to where public education has almost no other function than to produce "a servile reverence for a sacrosanct State." That's what they are focusing on, that's what they consider important, and any intellectual discipline that doesn't contribute to that end gets thrown overboard.
Obviously, just about every intellectual discipline is, as you (KD) pointed out, absolutely inimical to that end. So there is naturally some anxiety lest kids master math, economics, and history--and lest they become literate, which might cause them to read something, and language, which might enable them to express themselves intelligibly.
There are a lot of different kinds of school systems with a lot of different kinds of problems. The types of problems I've described are what you find in affluent (or would-be affluent) school systems. My kids were in an affluent school district when they were, most of them, in elementary school. Their later school years were in a district that fancied itself the next big noise in suburban development and was very keen on promoting itself as the most up-and-coming exurb.
With inner-city schools, you have a whole different ballgame--which I won't go into, other than to say they are heavily politicized.
But all these problems originate with the increasing government stranglehold on education. Government dictates what will be taught by making funding dependent on test scores on government-generated tests. Teaching school is a job where you are employed by state government. A person who would like to teach would be well advised to cultivate "a servile reverence for a sacrosanct State"--and to watch their back. Their loyalty to both the State (and the state)--and to local business/banking/development interests--will be frequently tested.
The public school system began to seriously to go to hell back at the time of school consolidation in the 1950s. By all accounts, it was going to hell for some decades before that, but that's another story.
Last modified: 2008-06-07 22:05:50 by sharon